Following its recent acquisition of two significant UK craft breweries, Lion an Australasian food and beverage company Lion is planning to open a London brewery for its Australian craft beer brand, Little Creatures.
Here’s what we know…
Lion will be opening a Little Creature’s hub in London’s King’s Cross neighborhood. The 557sqm venue will feature a six-hectoliter brewery, a taproom and restaurant. And the brand’s head brewer, Lara Smith, is moving to the UK to oversee the project.
The move would “embed the Little Creatures brand in the community, provide greater awareness and ultimately market the brand to an audience who already have a real interest in craft”, Lion UK & Europe regional director Toby Knowles explained to The Grocer. “London has been home to a real renaissance in world-class craft breweries in recent years and it’s exciting to be able to bring Little Creatures to such a vibrant market.”
Founded in Fremantle in Western Australia in 2000, Little Creatures fast grew a reputation for its hoppy pale ale and was later acquired by Lion in 2012.
In 2013, Lion opened a brewery in Geelong, Australia. And since then the company has expanded its reach in Asia and opened sites in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
At the time of Fourpure’s acquisition in July 2018, a statement released by the Bermondsey brewer revealed that Lion had four members of staff based in the UK.
According to the Drinks Business Fourpure also added that “[Lion] see Fourpure and our beer as a primary focus here in the UK and as their sole production brewing facility we will benefit from all the time, expertise and investment required to succeed.”
However, Lion’s sole commitment to Fourpure comes into question, especially in light of its recent acquisition of Yorkshire’s Magic Rock and now its plans to begin brewing Little Creatures in the United Kingdom.
Lion is owned by Kirin Holdings, which in addition to being home to Kirin Brewery Company, also has a 55% stake in Myanmar Brewery Ltd, jointly owns San Miguel Brewery and holds a 24.5% stake in Brooklyn Brewery.
In addition to opening a Little Creature’s brewery in London, Lion is also planning for new venues in San Francisco, Taipei and Auckland.